Schéma du crocus Sativus

Nom Latin
Crocus Sativus
Nom Commun
Crocus à Safran
Sous Famille&lt
Plante bulbeuse à caïeux




The basicsBulbe de safran

Saffron comes from the bulb of the crocus sativus, the only flower in the world which contains a spice. The crocus sativus spends all summer in a dormant state, which is to say a vegetative rest, while at the same time all other plants in our hemisphere are in full bloom.

At the end of summer, the crocus sativus bulb gradually releases the reserves it has stored during its rest, arousing itself from its dormancy. In September the first white shoots appear in the soil: the young crocus sativus shoots emerge from the soil at the beginning of September, and the first saffron flowers appear during the first fortnight of October, in a period of 40 to 45 days altogether.




 Fleur de safran Leaves

The leaves of crocus sativus are narrow, straight and dark green in colour. They develop after the flowers have opened and may reach 30 to 50cm by spring. It is their base, once dried, which will form the bulb tunic.

The crocus sativus being a deciduous plant, they will detach from the parent bulb in spring, following flowering.  






Fleur de safran


The flower comes out of the ground in a little white protective covering. It grows in the night, like mushrooms, usually after a warm day and during a mild night. It is made up of six identical, oval petals, in a pretty violet with touches of purple or white. In the centre, three stamens appear, bearing three pollen-bearing anthers.

Finally, inside the calyx, three conical orange-red stigmas with flared ends, about 3cm long, form the pistil: that is, the real, fresh saffron.

Despite its stamens, which are the reproductive organs of all plants, this plant is sterile. It can only reproduce by vegetative separation, which is to say by the annual production of cormlets.






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